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An updated Factsheet on the EU Water Framework Directive – is now available in six EU languages on EC DG Environment website .   

The Water Framework Directive - - dealing with the protection and restoration of clean waters across Europe has a direct impact on freshwater aquaculture activities.

SUSAQ PROJECT: A project commissioned and funded by the Environment Directorate-General (DG ENV) and Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). It addresses the interactions, challenges, needs and mutual benefits of aquaculture production and water quality protection, in particular in connection with the requirements of the WFD (Water Framework Directive) and the MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive).

The approach of this project represented an extensive review across Europe of the issues surrounding the environmental regulation of the aquaculture industry, extensive stakeholder consultation and a look forward at how the sector will develop. It represents a very valuable resource for those who seek good practice in regulation or management of the aquaculture industry, and will be used as the basis for Commission Services to develop guidance on that topic. Check out reports on  Guidance on the sustainable development of aquaculture

In November 2012, the Commission has launched a ‘Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources’, a strategy for ensuring that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment.

To achieve the Water Framework Directive’s (WFD) existing objective of good water status by 2015, the Water Blueprint sets out a three-tier strategic approach:

  1. Improving implementation of current EU water policy by making full use of the opportunities provided by current legislation. For example, increasing the take-up of natural water retention measures such as the restoration of wetlands and floodplains or improving implementation of the "polluter pays" principle through metering, water-pricing and better economic analysis.
  2. Increasing the integration of water policy objectives into other relevant policy areas such as agriculture, fisheries, renewable energy, transport and the Cohesion and Structural Funds.
  3. Filling the gaps of the current framework, particularly in relation to the tools needed to increase water efficiency. In this regard, the Water Blueprint envisages water accounts and water efficiency targets to be set by Member States and the development of EU standards for water re-use.

More information on this topic at

The FEAP fact sheet also describes the position of FEAP - representing in this case the European freshwater fish producers - with regard to the implementation of this directive.


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FEAP fact sheet  Download (594,254 kb)
Fact sheet WFD nov2012

Freshwater aquaculture is directly affected by the European Water Framework Directive